When SWMBO and I did our "grand tour" of Europe in 1985 we planned it so we would be in Paris for my 45th birthday.
I mean what's better than celebrating your birthday in April in Paris.
I don't remember the day but I do remember the evening.
In our walks around the city we had spotted a restaurant with what appeared to be a nice windowed dining room on the second floor right across from the Paris Opera.
But when we went there that evening, the waiters would not allow us to go upstairs.
Instead we were seated at a table right next to the kitchen door, the only people in the room.
Probably the worst table in the house.
Since we spoke only a few words of fractured French and the staff spoke no English (or at least claimed they didn't) we never learned why.
The menu was totally in French and we ordered blindly.
When SWMBO named her selection, the staff tried to talk her out of it.
But she got her back up and insisted.
It turned out to be tripe and she gamely and stubbornly struggled through most of it.
Well we were disappointed in my "fabulous" French birthday dinner.
No, we were pissed.
But the next day we were wandering around the Seine across from Notre Dame and encountered a restaurant on a barge anchored on the river.
So we entered and were seated, along with many other lunchers.
Again the menu was totally in French.
But the waiter proceeded to translate the entire carte into impeccable English for us.
I had a delicious warm onion tart with bits of ham throughout the sauce that enveloped it.
Judy and I promptly declared that meal to be my official birthday dinner.
And now you know . . . the rest of the story.